Blogging 301: Why do I keep on keeping on?

When I first heard about blogging, I could not imagine why anyone would want to share their thoughts or read others. Guess that’s a clue, right there. I didn’t even keep a diary as I couldn’t bear reading back what I had written. I do keep an art journal with my doodling and practise work. I draw images, and zen-tangle them, until I can confidently re-draw them and feel I have added to my repertoire. It’s not a visual journal of my life journey, nor is it like one of those art journals on Pinterest, full of colour and special wording. Nope, it’s just my doodles and image creation.

However, I see in that, growth. A slow building confidence in my own artistry. I have always been creative, trying many mediums. Paint has been the most intriguing for me. Mostly because I couldn’t work it. Collage works for me on a very personal level. Sculpting works for me at another level. Drawing and pen work for me endlessly (I do love a good felt tip) but painting eluded me, until recently.

I discovered dimension and sculpting paints and canvas paper in a pad (oh joy). Now my head is full of what I would like to draw and blending images. Once I have an image, I can see it in 3D, and can re-position the image on my page to view it from every angle. Now, why can I not do that with my thoughts?

Is that what blogging is about? Is it viewing different topics under discussion from every angle, until a whole picture is built?
When I read other bloggers’ work, I gain an insight into their perspective, their experience of life. It does not allow me to know that person or understand their intimate drivers, but a blog that has connected to my life experience in some way. That in turn creates a feeling of connectedness. I recognise something in the blogger’s experience that I have shared. I do appreciate a blogger who explores a situation and questions themselves.

If writing enables us to view a situation or experience from different perspectives, much like my art journal, then it is no wonder that blogging abounds. And abound it certainly does. There are millions of bloggers, some of whom capture the interest of thousands of readers. I do not read blogs everyday but I do view a number of them regularly and some I even follow.

There are friends’ blogs that I always read. Mostly because they are my friends but also because I enjoy their conversation and with some of them, who are far away, miss hearing their voices. Most of these fall into the category of Storytelling friends, Storytellers from across the world whom I have met through other Storytellers and enjoyed their style, their wit and their stories. I have read enough of their blogs that I find I can reference between them. That has occurred more than once which makes me wonder how those comments and commentary have stuck with me. What resonated that I integrated their experience?

I read voraciously, mostly online and ebooks. I read widely and enjoy snippets of information as much as I enjoy learning something new. I absolutely adore being able to satisfy my curiosity. I don’t have to know everything but being able to look something up the moment I wonder about it, is a joy that is unsurpassed and stems from an education mired in library reference books. The opportunity to read, verify, deliberate and consider another person’s experience is vicarious and unifying simultaneously. Curiosity is not just an human trait but certainly brings joy and entertainment to my life.

Have I answered my own question then? About why I continue to blog, even when I don’t feel like it and sometimes feel I have nothing to say? Yes, it offers an opportunity to connect through sharing, personally and through reading, in a way that is stimulating on many levels. I can only hope that other people enjoy my musings as much as I appreciate theirs.

Teenagers – Shaking my head: A Musing

Most of the dramas in my life in the last ten years have come from my teens. Their dramas, upsets, friendship break ups and break downs, school hits and misses. It’s really hard to keep track. Talking them through it, finding alternative responses, walking them through to consequences of the impact of their own behaviour. Pretty tiring.

I don’t like drama, yet I am surrounded by it. Is it just me or are teens worse? I was pretty bad, in my own head mostly, when I was a teen. I was snarky and nasty. Thank goodness there was no facebook then oh, oh my god. Just think of all the nasty thoughts and things I said. Just think if I wrote them down. It was bad enough that I sometimes wrote letters and posted them! Regrets, I have a few.

But teens today take all that angst into the public arena and it escalates rapidly. A simple misunderstanding quickly became four teens on my doorstep and opposite my house yelling abuse and threats. My 13 year old was scared and had no idea how to handle it. The neighbours were so perturbed that when I finally came out to speak with them (I had been in my studio oblivious), the neighbour came over to make sure we were okay. How nice of him.

I know all these kids and they know me. They wanted to speak with me to tell me what my daughter had done. In between arriving and my becoming aware that it had escalated, threats of physical harm had occurred and my daughter had panicked. Poor darlings. It will blow over eventually but they are all so hot-headed. My girl contributed but she has me to talk to. I worry about the others.

I know there have been a lot of conversations about facebook and we really won’t see the impact of this destructive behaviour for years. No matter how we try to warn them that what they write stays on the interwebs forever, we are not believed. Yep, that’s right, I was never a teen. Yep, that’s right, I never said anything stupid. Yep, that’s right, I never fought with my friends. Yep, that’s right, I don’t know anything.

Of course the really funny bit in all this was that was exactly how I thought as a teen. I was absolutely convinced that I was smarter than both my parents (I still have a sneaking suspicion that it is true). I could certainly talk them under the table. I was so argumentative. I refuse to argue at all these days. Must be tough on my 13 year old but she’s my fourth teen and I’m well practised. Mind you, she still manages to come up with some combinations I haven’t quite handled before and I have certainly had some terrible drama with her birth mother (upon whom we currently have an intervention order, I kid you not). But, all in all, she’s a kid and she’s my kid and I love her.

Interestingly it was her not-friends’ threats toward me that made her deactivate her facebook account and state that it was not okay to treat me like that. Love that. I have always been (over – if you ask my kids) protective. I quite like being on the receiving end. I do feel for them all though. They make their lives so much harder than needs to be. Then again, they are teens. There are adults that behave like that without hormonal excuses.

So, tomorrow I will drop her to school and walk her into the office to explain. Then she’s on her own. Hard as it is she has to deal with it. We will go through responses again to practise. She wanted me to walk her to her locker (actually she doesn’t even want to go to school but that won’t work) but I have to go to work. I have faith that the school will look out for her and she will have to keep her head down. The scary thing is that kids seem to think they can get away with bashing each other. One step at a time.

She’s brave my girl. As feisty as she is, I really wouldn’t have her any other way. But if I heave a sigh and shake my head on occasion, I know you will understand.